Here's a rare bit of excellent news: The Department of Health and Human Services has signed off on recommendations to include contraception in preventative care. In other words, kiss your co-pay goodbye.
As tempting as it is to shout from the rooftops that contraception is now "free" — which might be interpreted as "government-subsidized," which it isn't, but you know what the whiff of subsidizing sluttery does to certain people — this means, quite simply, that starting next August, all private insurance must fully cover contraception, including emergency contraception, alongside well-woman exams, STI testing, and so on. This is a recognition that being able to control your fertility is a major part of staying healthy — not to mention less expensive to the system and yourself than the alternative.
It does happen to be a day in which demoralized progressives could use good news from the Obama administration, although the very fact that birth control is politicized or "controversial" is a travesty. As Katha Pollitt noted recently, "contraception is not some newfangled fad foisted by the cultural elite on decent God-fearing folk. Americans have striven to separate sex from reproduction for more than two centuries. Today 99 percent of women have used birth control at some point."
As for Bill O'Reilly's contention, excerpted above, that ladies are "blasted out of their minds" while getting pregnant, someone needs to explain long-term contraception to him. But that's just the thing here: With theoretically less insurance hoop-jumping, more women could choose the right birth control for them, including effective kinds with high up-front costs, like the IUD. What could possibly be controversial about that, unless you don't actually want to reduce unwanted pregnancies or protect women's health?
Birth Control Free for All: New Insurance Rules Affect Millions of Women [ABC News]
Women's Health Guidelines [HRSA]
Related: Birth Control Yesterday, Today, And Tomorrow [The Nation]
Earlier: Shockingly, Free And More Effective Birth Control Leads To Fewer Abortions